Jurgen Klopp is glad Liverpool put up a “proper fight” when they were trying to qualify for the Champions League, but he had a hard time picking out a star player from a loss that almost certainly means they won’t make it.
After Champions League disappointment, Klopp tries to find “really good” Liverpool player
Liverpool’s small chance of finishing in the top four is almost over after Aston Villa held them to a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool announced during the week that Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Roberto Firmino would be leaving the team. This made for a sad afternoon on Merseyside.
The last two, in particular, will be remembered fondly at Liverpool for years to come. Both of them helped Liverpool get a draw when they came off the bench.
Milner was as aggressive and strong as usual in the battle, and Firmino answered Jacob Ramsey’s first-half goal with a beautiful finish with the outside of his foot.
But even though Liverpool pressed harder in the last 10 minutes of extra time, clear-cut chances were still hard to come by.
We made it a real battle to get into the Champions League. They scored more. We would have liked to keep things interesting for another week, but we couldn’t.
“I asked the boys after the game, who was really, really good today? It was difficult to find one. But the character we showed was good. Aston Villa were screwed in the second half and they didn’t know how to deal with it.”
After coming in second place last season, Liverpool is now almost certain to finish fifth in the table. Even though Klopp’s team is about to drop from the Champions League to the Europa League, he is ready for another trip to Europe.
He said, “The Europa League will be our competition. I’m not that pampered.
“It’s crazy that we’re already in the Europa League with all these other teams around us. That was very hard, and we did it, so that’s good. We were so far away from the Champions League for so long that we couldn’t even hear it.
As he said goodbye to Firmino and Milner, Klopp said, “Both Milly and Bobby’s efforts were crazy. We got to see what we’ll miss. That’s how things are.
“It’s a story we wrote together. Now we have to write a new story, and they have to write a new story. Without Milly, we have to step up and take charge. Bob’s name is Bob. I will miss them all.